Internet search engines themselves predate the debut of the Web in December 1990. The Whois user search dates back to 1982 and the Knowbot Information Service multi-network user search was first implemented in 1989. The first well documented search engine that searched content files, namely FTP files was Archie, which debuted on 10 September 1990.
Prior to September 1993 the World Wide Web was entirely indexed by hand. There was a list of webservers edited by Tim Berners-Lee and hosted on the CERN webserver. One historical snapshot of the list in 1992 remains, but as more and more web servers went online the central list could no longer keep up. On the NCSA site, new servers were announced under the title "What's New!"
A search engine is an information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system. The search results are usually presented in a list and are commonly called hits. Search engines help to minimize the time required to find information and the amount of information which must be consulted, akin to other techniques for managing information overload.
Search engines provide an interface to a group of items that enables users to specify criteria about an item of interest and have the engine find the matching items. The criteria are referred to as a search query. In the case of text search engines, the search query is typically expressed as a set of words that identify the desired concept that one or more documents may contain. There are several styles of search query syntax that vary in strictness. It can also switch names within the search engines from previous sites. Whereas some text search engines require users to enter two or three words separated by white space, other search engines may enable users to specify entire documents, pictures, sounds, and various forms of natural language. Some search engines apply improvements to search queries to increase the likelihood of providing a quality set of items through a process known as query expansion.
That is despite two expert divers spending 20 minutes 220ft underwater searching the wrecked single-engine Piper PA-46. David Mearns, a shipwreck hunting expert who assisted in the search that found Sala's body, revealed a helicopter also searched over the Channel Islands but there was no sign of the pilot.